Admittedly it has been a while since my last post. This has been as a result of:
a) buying the wrong cable for my camera
b) being busy
c) making some seriously average meals (think bland beetroot tart and crappy pasta - sigh!)
BUT a weekend on the surf-coast with the family for birthday celebrations has changed all that! It was a weekend of rain, roaring fires, trivial pursuit, snoozes on the couch and, of course, eating obscene amounts of food.
Due to a cold and a willing family of cooks I didn't actually cook anything over the weekend (except for a couple of flat loaves of bread - what's up with me at the moment!?) but I did eat! Apart from the home cook feasts of fresh pasta, cheese, salads, crumpets etc etc etc I also had the pleasure of eating at two wonderful surf coast restaurants - one an old favourite and the other a new revelation.
With the help of my mum's iphone I even managed to get some semi-decent pictures of the food - yay!
On Friday night we headed to our old favourite at Airey's Inlet - a la greque. It's a gorgeous, casual place run by Kosta Talimanidis (of Kosta's in Lorne fame) and his family.
The menu is simple and tasty but not very veggie friendly - although they do have some wonderful sustainable fish options like local flathead and whiting.
My family tends to order mains and lots of sides - so I ordered myself an eggplant pizza with mint, chili and kasseri and ate my fair share of silverbeet with gorgonzola and walnuts, green salad, lemon potatoes and fennel gratin.
The pizza was nice, but a tad dry and there was no sign of the aforementioned chili which probably would've probably given it the kick it needed to go from so-so to quite delicious.
The silverbeet was the highlight side. And not just because I think anything with gorgonzola is fabulous but because it was perfectly cooked so it still had a little bite, there were plenty of walnuts and just enough cheese to be a bit smelly and rich without killing the healthy taste of the silverbeet. Truly yumo!
The other sides were also very good but more unremarkable and the photos I have of the fennel in particular doesn't do it any justice.
So, with full bellies we trundled home for chocolate truffles, present opening, nougat, trivial pursuit and peppermint tea. Blissful.
When Sunday lunchtime rolled around we realised that, shock - horror, the cupboard was bare. Luckily for us, we had spotted a new little cafe in Jan Juc (kinda on the way home) that everyone wanted to try.
And wowee was it lucky for us - what a find!
Swell is a little cafe in the carpark of the Jan Juc shops but it serves up some seriously good quality, veggie friendly cafe food.
I realise that this post is getting entirely too long so I will just say one thing... Get the South Indian Veggie Burger.
Yes, it was as big as it looks and no you cannot eat it as a conventional hand-held burger and oh my was it delicious. The waitress couldn't tell us what the patty was made of but I guess it was a mixture of mashed chickpeas and veggies. There were lots of yummy Indian spices, some chutney, loads of salad and a splosh of tzaziki for good measure. One of the best veg burgers in memory.
Everyone else thoroughly enjoyed some wraps, mexican roti and one of the most impressive looking veggie breakfasts I've seen which included some scrumptious spinach and feta piklets! Everything was rounded out with a deliciously spicey chai, milkshakes, some coffees and then we all rolled home to Melbourne.
Overall a highly successful eating weekend.
I'm also back on the cooking bandwagon - so expect some pumpkin ravioli and apple cake to come your way later this week.
a la greque
60 Great Ocean Rd
16 Princess Tce